Lavender field at Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque, Provence, France. Photo
Lavender field at Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque, Provence, France. Photo ©

Hans Braxmeier, used under licence and adapted from the original.

How does the programme operate in France? 

The Language Assistants Programme is a bi-lateral mobility programme. We work with our partner organisation, France Education International, to send English Language Assistants to primary and secondary schools in France. 

France Education International administer the programme in France and manage the relationship with regional authorities on our behalf.  

As part of our processes, we will be sharing the information you include in your application with France Education International and the regional/local authorities and schools that they work with. By submitting an application, you are agreeing to us sharing the information included in the form with all parties listed above.  

Am I eligible for a placement in France?

To be a Language Assistant in France, you must:

  • fulfil the general eligibility criteria
  • You must be aged 35 or under on 31 December 2024
  • have B1-level French

As well as fulfilling all the general eligibility criteria, please note that our French partners France Education International also require candidates to meet the following:

1. You must demonstrate complete mastery of the English Language 

2. You must have undertaken a minimum length of education in the UK - you must have completed one of the following:

  • at least two years of an undergraduate degree OR
  • a TEFL or CELTA course with at least two years of English Language Teaching OR
  • at least one year of study of a Level 5 qualification (or above) through a Further Education institution/TVET college

3. You must have a UK/Irish/EU passport or a passport from one of France Education International’s programme partner countries

Will I need a visa?

Assistants going to France who do not have an EU passport or a French residency permit will have to apply for the following: 

  • Long Stay Visa (VLS-TS - visa long séjour valant titre de séjour): Assistants will be exempt from the visa fee but a service charge of approximately £55 (GBP) is payable for the process.  
  • Taxe de Primo-Délivrance: Once in country, assistants will have to pay this tax to work in France and validate their working visa. The cost is €200 (EUR).

Please note that the specific language assistant visa long séjour valant titre de séjour  does not allow language assistants to pursue official secondary employment in France. 

Please note that visa requirements can change at short notice, and the British Council cannot be held responsible for any changes to the visa process or to the approximate costs listed above which have been given as a guide only. If allocated a placement, you will receive the most up-to-date information for the processes. You should not apply until you have been instructed to do so by the team.   

Please note that the French visa process is managed by TLS Contact  and not the British Council. As an ELA you will apply for a Long Stay Visa (VLS-TS - visa long séjour valant titre de séjour).  You may apply or a visa from early July as the process begins three months before your start date (1st October 2024).  Your passport must also be valid for six months after your finish date as an ELA on the 30 April 2025 (October 2025) based on French governmental guidelines.  Please contact the TLS Contact Centre  In the first instance for additional queries and not the British Council. 

 Posts in France run from 1 October 2024 – 30 April 2025.   

When will I start my placement?

Posts in France run from 1 October 2024 – 30 April 2025.  

Will there be an induction course?

The relevant académie in France will invite you to an induction course, either at the end of September or in early October. For any training requiring an overnight stay, académies may help financially.

How many hours will I work per week?

Language Assistants in France can expect to work approximately 12 hours per week, with the option in some placements to add up to six hours per week. Please be aware that the number of hours and your specific timetable and working pattern can vary depending on the region and institution that you are allocated to.  

How many posts are available in France?

Every year there are approximately 500 posts available in France. Undergraduates will be prioritised if they are participating in the programme as part of a compulsory period abroad. Candidates will be placed on a waiting list if they are not immediately successful in gaining a post. 

What type of institution will I be working in?

All placements available in France are in primary and secondary schools.

How much will I be paid?

You should expect to earn €1,010.67 per month gross (before social security deductions). The net monthly pay is approximately €800-813.Those allocated to Outre-mer will receive about 40% more due to a higher cost of living. You are also entitled to national healthcare.

Please note that our overseas partners and employing institutions are ultimately responsible for setting the salary of language assistants and this amount should therefore be treated as indicative and may be subject to change.

What holidays will I have?

In France the academic calendar runs from September to June. Typically, assistants can expect to receive the same school and national holidays as their institution.

What are the costs involved?    

Applicants should also be aware that there are significant costs associated with the visa process and moving to France. However, these costs should not come all at once as they will occur at different stages of the process, from visa application to arrival in France.  Costs are likely to include:    

Pre-departure:   

  • International Child Protection Certificate (£90)   
  • Visa application including administrative fees (approx. £55)   
  • Travel costs to and from visa centre   
  • Travel costs to placement location   

  In post (before receiving first payment)  

  • Accommodation costs including initial temporary accommodation and deposit for permanent accommodation in France 
  • Residency permit costs on arrival (€200) 
  • Costs for initial few months – You may not receive your first payment until late November, so you will need sufficient funds for this time. Previous assistants have recommended budgeting for at least two months without pay  

[any additional information ELAs may require relating to finance e.g. proof of funds for visa application etc.]  

We encourage you to read more about the monthly allowance and how much money we recommend budgeting for France in section 8 of the destination guide (available to downloaded from the bottom of this page).   

Where can I go in France?

You will be able to pick one region from group A, one region from group B, and one region from group C. Please note that you will only be considered for Outre-Mer if Outre-Mer is your first choice. 

By selecting a region in a given group you must be open to a placement anywhere within that region. For example, remember that Bordeaux refers to the whole region/académie of Bordeaux and not only the city of Bordeaux. A comments box will be available to add specific reasoning if you have a specific preferred place.  Many of the posts are located in rural areas/ small towns and you should keep this in mind when applying.

 

Group A

Hauts de France (Amiens, Lille) 

Ile-de-France (Paris, Créteil, Versailles) 

Grand-Est (Nancy-Metz, Reims, Strasbourg) 

No preference 

Group B

Normandie (Caen, Rouen) 

Nouvelle-Aquitaine (Bordeaux, Limoges, Poitiers) 

Bourgogne-Franche-Comté (Besançon, Dijon) 

Nantes 

Orléans-Tours 

Rennes 

Toulouse 

No preference 

Group C

Outre mer 

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble, Lyon) 

Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur (Aix-Marseille, Nice) 

Corse 

Montpellier 

No preference 

Before making your group choices, please bear in mind:

  • The areas listed in the groups above refer to regions (académies) and not to towns or cities which may share the same name. We have no control over the number of posts available in each académie, as this fluctuates yearly. We recommend that you research the académies  before applying. Please note that the final decision of where you will be placed rests with our French partner organisation and the regional authorities, not the British Council.
  • Flexibility is crucial. You should expect to be allocated anywhere within your group choice. Some candidates may not be awarded any of their three top option preferences. In these cases, we will make efforts to allocate candidates as closely as possible, geographically, to one of their original choices
  • The cost of living in Outre-mer is higher than in mainland France, so the salary here will be approximately 40% higher. If Outre-mer is your first choice, you must be prepared to accept a post in any of the listed territories. Due to demand, you must also be prepared to accept a position in mainland France
  • If your reason for choosing an area is that you have contacts and possible accommodation there, you must state the name of your host and address of the accommodation in the ‘Reasons for preferences’ section of the application form. Equally, we can take any other strong reasons for regional preferences into consideration, so long as you highlight it in your application rather than in later communications. All reasonable wishes for regional preferences, be these medical or otherwise, should be researched and explained as fully as possible on the application form, to ensure the best chance of a desired match. We cannot guarantee a post near your accommodation.

I've worked as a Language Assistant in France - can I apply again?

Assistants currently working in France can re-apply for a consecutive year. This is not done through the British Council: apply directly by following the instructions on France Education international renewal site before the deadline as specified on this linked website. 

Consecutive year assistants can ask to remain at the same school, or can request a change to their school or académie. 

Please note all consecutive year Assistants must apply again for an International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) for the new academic year.  

Where can I get information about my placement from?

The guide for Language Assistants in France 2023-24 is available to download in PDF format below. This information has been provided for reference and is subject to change each year. Updated guidance for Assistants going out on placement in 2024-25 will be available in summer 2024.